Read an Excerpt
Samuel Butler once said, "Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes on." I say, why? Why practice hour after hour? Why practice at all? With me as your Suzuki teacher, you'll be a virtuoso right out of the box. I've lived it, done it, made all the mistakes, learned the ropes, and finally got it all down. Now I'll take you on a wise, witty whirlwind tour of everything you need to know: life skills, life lessons, and operating instructions; from the practical and the profound to the "who knew?"
Once you read this book you can expect a juicier chicken and a less hostile hairdresser. A better price from a wedding caterer. A name for your goldfish that you won't live to regret. A teenage daughter who won't even think of blaming you for her thighs, and a dog who will know not to jump directly on your breasts at night during a thunderstorm.
You'll know the right way to walk into a cocktail party; how to get a raise without crying; and how to break up with your shrink. In short, I'll teach you all the skills every woman needs for a more joyful life and a more rewarding lifestyle. Words like regret, failure, and utter humiliation will not be part of your vocabulary.
And lucky you. You won't have to marry a man and spend the best twenty-odd (I use the term advisedly) years of your life learning how to win arguments and get in the last word -- I've done it for you. Thanks to me, your dog won't have what Dr. Bob, the $100-an-hour personal canine trainer, referred to as a "troubled adolescence" or be diagnosed with Reluctant Leader syndrome. Your child won't insist that the only movie she wants you to rent (and watches over and over) is the one about the kid who divorces her parents. You won't know the heartbreak of mistaking the cilantro for the parsley, buying the wrong house, breaking into tears when you try to describe your USB port problem to the tech-support guy, shopping retail and wanting to kill yourself when your best friend gets it for 75 percent off a week later.
Read this book and you'll know when you're ready for plastic surgery; why some women stay in coach and some get upgraded; how to order the right dish in a country where no one speaks English; what's the one word every mother of the groom needs to know; how to ask your most important global shopping questions in French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, and Hebrew.
The average woman is presented with thousands of choices a day. I mean, just look at the toothpaste aisle of a good-sized drugstore. There are currently 61,935,508 women in America today between the ages of twenty-five and fifty-five who are forced every single day of their busy, important lives to figure out how to pick everything from a ripe cantaloupe to a wallpaper, from a career to a color for their bank checks.
It isn't just the sheer number of decisions and choices that makes it all so stressful. It's that it's hard to find things that make sense. Sure, advanced quantum physics makes sense. The Renaissance makes sense. Global warming makes sense. But not being able to find a bathing suit in a department store in August because they're already showing down coats makes no sense. Being told that a massage is a luxury, not a necessity makes no sense. The fact that Dame Edna, one of the most intuitive women alive today, is a man makes no sense. The idea that we can send a man, a woman, a monkey to the moon and self-tanners still streak makes no sense. And what to make of this? This country is filled with scientists and we still don't know if it is ever safe to have our eyelashes professionally dyed. On a slightly deeper note, politics and war make no sense, except for cola wars.
This book makes sense. The more we know and the sooner we know it, the easier our lives will be. And aren't you ready to read a book that gives you the kind of guidance you need -- not just about better abs and better relationships blah blah blah, but one that can tell you how to order when the special of the day at the Japanese restaurant reads "Boiled Rabbi." The bottom line is that this advice is going to be a lot more up your alley than those familiar, formulaic women's magazines with their "helpful" tips.
Let's face it: we're all too busy running our lives and running the world to want to read six cookbooks to figure out why the mayonnaise curdled. And we want answers that work everywhere. If you have three days in Rome, do you really want to spend two of them researching antique silver picture frames? Or do you want someone to guide you to the outdoor market that's not in a guidebook that's got the best prices and, most important, one-of-a-kind frames you won't find anywhere back home.
Why me? My life experience is huge and I've really paid attention to all the lessons I learned (I'm not a girl for nothing). While there are a few areas I don't feel qualified to advise women on -- like Brazilian bikini wax techniques, what's an appropriate Christmas present for your Kabala guru, the merits of thongs, and ménage à trois morning-after etiquette -- I feel pretty good about everything else.
The results of my lifelong life as a woman speak for themselves: I dated for over twenty years. I was married for over twenty years. I've been divorced for two. I have two daughters. I have two female cats and one female dog. I have more close women friends than just about anybody I know. I have been to spas and shrinks. I understand the importance of killer lingerie and flexible hamstrings. I know from experience why there is nothing really "natural" about natural childbirth (ironically, during labor my doctor was on drugs while I was drug-free).
I have been profound: I've written definitive works on teen body image issues, lima bean festivals, the history of ketchup, tinted moisturizers.
I have been shallow: I was in some store somewhere, shopping, during every single national disaster from JFK to the Challenger, except for the August 2003 East Coast power failure -- then I was right in the middle of a private Pilates lesson. The scariest medical news I ever got, I got on my cell phone when I was just finishing a facial and about to start my manicure.
I have had a breadth of experience: I have lived in the city (bad supermarkets, good manicures) and in the suburbs (great supermarkets, lousy manicures).
I can relate to women's endless quest for perfection: it recently took me six months to find the perfect toilet kit. Debating bronzers with my friend Patti got so heated that we just had to agree to disagree and not talk about it. Ditto the subject of rain shoes with my friend Marsha.
And although my many, many years in the trenches of womanhood and the fact that I have been wearing pretty much nothing but black for thirty years have given me a somewhat sophisticated take on life, I'm refreshingly down to earth. I honestly think I can relate to all women, all their hopes and dreams and cellulite issues. Surely it's no coincidence that my favorite nail polish is called I'm Not Really a Waitress.
I promise you that this book will be a confidence booster, a trusted friend, a mentor, and a life guide. It will be the wise, supportive mother so few of us are lucky enough to have. (Parenthetically, a neighbor once asked my own mother what had changed the most about her life since she had had children. I remember listening intently as my mom pondered the question, then responded, "I couldn't afford to buy designer shoes.") I'll address all life issues (even ones you might not have known you had), questions, and quandaries. And share the wisdom only a smart, successful woman who's been around -- and I mean that in the best possible sense -- could. In no time and with minimal effort, you will have the right answers at your perfectly manicured fingertips. Your life will be easier and less stressful. You'll sleep better at night. It will be a better world. Men will be happier too. I will earn out my advance and win the Nobel Prize.
Copyright © 2006 by Stevie Pierson